January 26 in Russian history

1525: First printed map of Russia. It was drawn by a geographer Dmitri Gerasimov and was based on the accounts of travellers and merchants and on interviews with them.

1582: The end of the Livonian war. Ambassador of Ivan IV, tsar of Russia, and Stefan Batory, king of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, with help of the papal legatus Antonio Possevino, sign the Treaty of Jam Zapolski in a village Kiverova Gora. Russian ambassadors were duke Yeletsky and book publisher Alferyev. The Livonian war started in 1558 to establish control on the territory of Livonian Confederation (modern Latvia and Estonia). This confederation consisted of a number of German colonies: the Livonian Order, Archbishopric of Riga, Bishopric of Dorpat, Bishopric of Ösel-Wiek, and Bishopric of Courland. In the course of the war Sweden joined the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the accent moved to the territories lying between Russia and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. According to the terms of the 20-year truce, Russia renounced the claims to Livonia and Polotsk, but Poland returned the occupied Russian city of Velikie Luki and stopped the siege of Pskov. Russia lost the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland, the only access to the Baltic Sea and regained it only 13 years later, during the Russian-Swedish war of 1590-1595.

1924: The 2nd congress of Soviets renamed Petrograd (ex-St. Petersburg) to Leningrad.

1943: Nikolai Vavilov, a prominent botanist and geneticist, died in a prison in Saratov from dystrophia. Vavilov, born in 1887, graduated from Moscow Agricultural Institute and worked together with the father of genetics, William Bateson, for some years. Vavilov was interested in the origin of cultivated plants, especially the cereal crops. He organized a number of botanical expeditions, created the largest collection of largest plant seeds in the world and was the first to identify the centres of origin of the cultivated plants. He also formulated the law of homologous series in variation. In 1940 he was repressed as a defender of the "bourgeois pseudoscience" genetics. In 1968, the Research Institute of Plant Industry in Leningrad was renamed to the Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry.

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